Vigilance officer for Pakistan in Champions Trophy

A special "vigilance" officer will accompany the squad in addition to a regular security officer.

Updated: May 14, 2013 08:59 IST
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Pakistan's cricket squad will fly to Britain early on Tuesday (May 14), seeking to win next month's Champions Trophy and avoid any repetition of the scandal that marred their last British tour in 2010.

A special "vigilance" officer will accompany the squad in addition to a regular security officer.

The now defunct News of the World had disclosed the spot-fixing scandal in 2010, where deliberate no-balls were bowled in return for money during Pakistan's Lord's Test against England. It resulted in bans on Salman Butt, the captain then, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir as well as jail terms for the trio and their agent Mazhar Majeed.

For this tour, the players have been briefed extensively to avoid any controversy.

"We have briefed the players that this is a very sensitive tour and they should maintain strict discipline as we don't want a repeat of 2010 events," said Naveed Akram Cheema, the Pakistan team manager, to reporters in Lahore. "Players are told to restrict their off-the-field movement."

Pakistan will play two One-Day Internationals each against Scotland and Ireland before competing in the eight-nation Champions Trophy in England from June 6-23.

They are in group B along with India, West Indies and South Africa. Australia, the defending champions, England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand form group A.

Misbah-ul Haq, the Pakistan captain, who was not a member of the 2010 tour squad, said the team can succeed. "I think there are no favourites for the trophy," he said. "We have a talented team and if all the players play their roles accordingly, then we can win the tournament. We have selected a squad specifically for English conditions."

Misbah said Pakistan have a balanced team, with a strong bowling attack. "We have world-class spinners and some quality pace bowlers in Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan, but it is a matter of how we execute our plans and everybody does his job," he said.

Saeed Ajmal, the offspinner, leads Pakistan's spin contingent, which also has Abdul Rehman, the left-arm spinner, and Mohammad Hafeez, the opener who also bowls offspin.

The squad doesn't have Shahid Afridi, the allrounder, and Younis Khan, the veteran batsman, while Umar Gul was ruled out with a knee injury.

Dav Whatmore, Pakistan's head coach, was also confident of the team's chances. "We always want to open a series or a tournament with a win and that's what we are going to do in the Champions Trophy," said Whatmore. "Our team is balanced and strong and we have prepared well for the event."

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